A few years ago there were only a handful of options for full-figured women and now brands are expanding their size ranges to appeal to the plus size woman. While many brands are becoming size inclusive, it doesn’t mean that they are doing plus size fashion the right way. Personally, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt frustrated with the boring plus size selection at stores or have felt limited with my styling options. Universal Standard, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. In fact, I’d say that Universal Standard is the poster child of what the plus size and fashion industry, in general, should strive to be.
About Universal Standard
Universal Standard is an elevated plus size fashion label that offers high-quality clothing in sizes 10-28, founded by Polina Veksler and Alexandra Waldman. When these women created Universal Standard their goal was to create clothing that not only looked good but also felt good too. What transpired is a line of modern essentials that are chic for the cosmopolitan plus size gal.
The Core Collection by Universal Standard is composed of clean lines and essential pieces that every plus size woman needs in her closet. Think classic blouses, pencil skirts, and dresses made of premium materials such as Peruvian cotton jersey and vegan leather. If you’re the kind of woman that likes to add a few stand out pieces to your essentials, then you will be pleased to know that they add a new item to their selection each week. Regardless if you are shopping from the Core Collection or from a capsule collection, all of their styles are season-less making Univeral Standard pieces a must.
Universal Standard focuses on simple designs, but what really stands out is the engineering process. Each garment design is carefully thought through. Their focus is to create functional fashions that are tailored specifically for plus size bodies. The result is items that not only fit, but feel really good on your body too.
In terms of shopping experience, Univeral Standard has a showroom in NYC and one coming soon to Seattle. As a Seattlite, I can’t wait to check out this showroom. In the meantime, I’m shopping online like a great portion of their clientele. Universal Standard values their customers and makes shopping online easy because of their EXTREMELY user- friendly website. The website has a video of each garment, as well as a visual size chart to get an idea of what each garment will look like on your body shape.
Universal Standard: Universal Fit Liberty
Universal Fit Liberty is what makes Universal Standard a game-changer, not just for plus size fashion, but in the fashion industry in general.
Women, weight, and fashion all go hand-and-hand. Our relationship is a love/hate one, but the reality is that we all deal with changes in our bodies. We have times of weight-loss and we have times of weight gain. Some are exciting and some not so much, but the fact is that this happens to all of us. Until now, these changes would mean that you would have to shove your favorite styles into the back of the closet in hopes that they will fit again, or drop them off in a donation bin.
Universal Standard revolutionized the fashion industry when they launched Universal Fit Liberty. When you purchase clothing from their Core Collection, you can return your garment for a brand new one in the right size up to a year after purchasing it. This makes feeling good about clothing and style a positive experience. It’s also another example of how committed Universal Standard is to their clients and their satisfaction.
Side note: If you’re wondering what happens to all of the returned clothing, rest assured. Universal Standard donates all of the clothing to charities that support women in need.
Universal Standard Review & Outfit Ideas: My Final Thoughts
Universal Standard gave me the opportunity to try a few of their items from their core collection to review/style. I decided to pick a few items that would work for my day-to-day lifestyle.
Here’s what I picked and my thoughts on each piece:
Grey Geneva Dress ($120)- When I first saw this dress it caught my eye, but I wasn’t sure what it would look like on me. I’m 5’2 and had this vision of myself in a grey potato sack. I wasn’t sure what size to go for, but after checking out the size chart I opted for a medium, which ends up being a size 18-20. I wanted it to fit loose, but not sack like. Right after I slipped it on those thoughts disappeared. I’ve fallen in the love with everything about this dress. The fit, color, fabric, and just how well it merges comfort and fashion. So far I’ve styled it an athleisure manner, but it can easily be elavated into a chic evening look. I’ve received nothing but compliments everytime I’ve worn it.
Cutaway Sleeve Tee in Mauvey Pink ($50)- This tee is a modern take on a classic tee in a Peruvian cotton blend fabric. The cutaway sleeves add a bit of trend to the look, while still keeping the overall aesthetic clean and crisp. I picked out this piece is a size Medium and it fits a little tighter than I would like, but I feel that if I size up, it will me too loose. The fabric has a nice weight that isn’t too heavy, while still keeping a nice form. I like to wear it with jeans, but I’m also going to try it with a skirt since it’s a basic piece.
Rhine Color Block Cuff Top in Black/White ($60)- Just like the Cutaway Sleeve Tee, this long-sleeve shirt is another closet essential. It’s made with 7% Elastane, so it has a little stretch to form your figure. I picked this piece in a size M (18-20) because I want it to be fitted. I’ve worn it with the Seine Jeans and kicks for a laid back look, but I’m actually looking forward to wearing it under a dress when the weather gets cooler again.
Seine Jeans 27 Inch in Distressed Black ($90)- Jeans are a closet staple and these distressed black jeans add some edge to my fashion rotation. I like that they have a grey wash since grey is one of my favorite colors to wear. As far as fit, I feel like I’m in between sizes. I originally ordered a size 18 and had to send them back. These jeans are super soft and the stretch is very generous, and because of that, I was afraid that after a few wears they would be too loose. I sent them back for a 16 and in a couple of days, I received my new pair. The new pair is a hair too tight, but I think they will get looser as I wear them. Either way, they have quickly become one of my favorite denim options.
Overall, I’m stoked to have discovered Universal Standard. From their brand vision to the quality pieces, I’m loving everything that they are bringing to the fashion game. Of course what really captures my heart is the Universal Fit Liberty. As a plus size woman that has always gone up and down in weight, this program makes me feel happy that I won’t have to give up my favorite styles if my weight changes 11 months down the road. I can’t wait for their Seattle showroom to open so that I can pop in and get a chance to see the rest of their collection up close and personal.
Have you tried any items from Univeral Standard? What is your favorite piece? Let me know by commenting below.